Tennessee Mountain Stories

Meet Harry Lane - Author of Tennessee Memories

Last week I introduced Tennessee Memories by Harry Lane. His son (and one of my favorite people!) Derek Lane shared a little more information about the author so I want to pass that along to you this week.


Harry Lane (1936-2013) loved Tennessee, though he didn’t live here until his late twenties. He grew up in the hot coastal plains region of southern Georgia, studied geology at Georgia and geography at Kansas, and only moved to Tennessee when he began teaching geography at Tennessee Tech in 1964. He very much enjoyed the tremendous variety of landscapes in Tennessee, from the mountains in the east, to the Cumberland Plateau just east of Cookeville, to the Nashville Basin, and the fertile plains of the west. His love for the state extended to the four-season climate, the interesting place-names, the Scotch-Irish mountain heritage of many Tennessee residents, and its music. He even bought a ‘mountain dulcimer’ from a local craftsman and learned to play it. From the early 1980’s on, he captured many of the state’s natural wonders on film, and was also a painter in oils, watercolor, and acrylic. He was always a skilled writer, and his hobby list also included stone masonry, wood-working, calligraphy, and occasional poetry. Many of his former students remember him as a good instructor, a demanding but fair and kind professor. His wife of almost 53 years, Melba, still lives in Cookeville, and his three sons and four grandchildren live in Utah, Tennessee, and Illinois.